I found out today that my sweet, squishy kitty has feline leukemia. I’m very, very sad right now. I couldn’t possibly write about how depressed I feel right now, and I can’t seem to form a grammatically competent sentence (so pardon the lower quality of this post).
Well I took the Illustrator certification test. I passed it with an 850. But… it was nothing like the two practice tests I took, and that kind of pissed me off. Either way, I passed it. Later next week, I’ll work on passing the Flash test. I should be certified in that too by the end of the month. I’ve been certified in Photoshop and Dreamweaver for the fourth year now, although I’ve never since used Dreamweaver. I’ll probably work on After Effects or Premier Pro next, but this will be highly challenging, as this is my last year to get a certification, and unlike how I played with Illustrator and Flash for three years, I’ve barely touched After Effects, and never touched Premier Pro. Still though. No harm in trying!
A few things. First off, I saw Andromeda for the first time ever last weekend, on the 10th! I was at Big Pine Key and… ahh, it was so beautiful! Two and a half million year old light… it’s rather sexy, actually. And now that I know exactly where to look and what to look for, I’m able to see it from my house! Oh, it’s so beautiful. It’s a whole other galaxy. Looking at hundreds of millions of stars in about one square degree of sky… all that light traveling 2,538,000 light years, only to end that ages long journey on my retina… it’s really sexy to think about. Alright, I might be just the tiniest bit turned on by space. And by “tiniest bit” I mean quite a bit, as in, a lot.
On a random note, if I ever get the chance to name a chocolate bar, I’m going to call it Andromeda for one simple reason. There’s already a “Milky Way” chocolate. There must be an Andromeda. “Large Magellanic Cloud” doesn’t sound delicious… well, to me it does, but it doesn’t really sound like a chocolate bar. It’d be appropriate for cotton candy though.Oh great, now I’m thinking about galaxy names and what kind of candy it would be. “Arp 87” doesn’t really sound like any sort of candy. xD Now to look at the Hubble Deep Field again because it’s so beautiful… and then there’s that picture of Andromeda… mmm…
Second semester is going to start… today, really. I gotta really work on my grades now. Like, really work on them. But now I don’t have college apps to stress me out. It’s also time to put this lighting to the test. Hopefully all should work out well and hopefully my dysfunctional family doesn’t get in the way again. My dad’s a little verbally abusive… but he’s away now, and hopefully he’ll stay away for a long time now so that I can get a little peace of mind…
This reminds me. No one gave me the room number of my Government teacher. I have to go to her class today, and apparently the school never gave the students their schedule changes. Ugh, yet another reason why my high school is… unfavorable… I can’t wait until I’m in a more organized college environment.
I’ve also taken up teaching myself topology. A professor friend of mine (he won’t tell me what college he’s a professor at, but I know he’s from Boston–not MIT though, I don’t think) has given me a copy of Armstrong (1983) Basic Topology, and it’s surprisingly readable. I’m working my way through it. Of course, it being a third-year topology textbook, and having taught myself only the basics of Set Theory, the book is not easy, so to speak, but it is definitely manageable. After getting through some of it, I’ll try and watch some lectures on YouTube. I’m sure there’s an OpenCourse one, but I want to see the other ones too and see which one I like the best. Virtual teacher quality matters, too!
On a side note, if you combine xkcd and SMBC together, that’s 95% me. There’s even a post that describes my “talk mathy to me” thing so accurately: http://www.smbc-comics.com/?id=2934#comic
Did you know that I’m also fascinated with psychology? It’s not something I’d do for a living (as to be honest, unless you’re a friend of mine, I don’t want to hear your sob story, and I’m a little too impatient to deal with stupid people), but I would very much love to do research psychology (I wouldn’t have to deal with helping stupid, melodramatic people; I’d be finding out how the brain works and such… fascinating stuff). Psychology is quite the hobby of mine, especially when it comes to observational studies.
TL;DR: I’m changing the light bulbs in my room to one of a higher color temperature because I’m trying to see if it affects my willingness to do my homework and my mood in general, as I’ve noticed a very significant trend between mood and color temperature in years past, a trend that is supported by science.
So my parents decided to take a two day, one night trip down to the Keys this past weekend. I’d recently learned about Big Pine Key, which was only about 45 minutes from Key West, and how it’s one of the best places in the southern US to stargaze.
Unfortunately, my parents are the type of people that think the darker and more unfamiliar a location is, the higher the density of rapists hiding in the trees (even though the only thing hiding in the trees were deer). My dad started cursing at me for being “stupid” (he even dropped the f-bomb, and I’ve never heard him say it in front of me) and he completely ruined my evening. My mom ruined most of my photos because she had to shine a light at every “rapist” (deer) that came from the shadows, and as you know, astrophotography absolutely cannot have any light pollution to come out right.
Then the tripod’s swivel thing decided to break, and I had to hold it steady, else holding the shutter button (on bulb mode) would cause the camera to turn wildly. The tiny movements of my hand caused blur in many of my images, and I couldn’t take an exposure longer than 2 minutes, because that’s how frequently my paranoid parents kept either bugging me or flashing lights that would otherwise ruin the photo.
Even the picture below is highly edited in order to maximize the number of stellar objects visible. Many iterations of exposure edit and levels and color balance and whatnot. I didn’t get to photograph Andromeda, but I did see it for the first time in my life. That was one hell of a sight, as fuzzy and dim what I saw.
Anyways, Comet Lovejoy appears very clearly in this image (the Milky Way is very faint, and only is visible because of extensive post processing, although it was visible when I was there in Big Pine Key), and using the position maps and its distinctive color, I’m pretty sure I’ve circled the right dot.
TL;DR: Here’s Comet Lovejoy, among many stars in a post-processed picture, taken in rather unfavorable conditions, namely paranoid parents, in Big Pine Key.
I was organizing my files, and I came across a poem I seem to have written around the end of August 2014. At that time, I was suffering from a fair bit of depression (as even though I haven’t been formally diagnosed, I’m sure I’m Bipolar-II), and if I remember correctly, was feeling extremely down and depressed, and people on EP started to worry about me. So I had put my feelings into a poem. The poem basically states that as horrible as the times have been for me, not simply when I had written it but also long before and even now, I know that I’m going somewhere. Perhaps I screwed up my grades in high school, but I know that once I go to college (be it Caltech, Berkeley, UF, Georgia Tech, or even UCF, and maybe after next year at MIT), my true self can shine, and I will achieve greatness.
Because I have given and am giving so few shits about all the shit that has been flung at me from peers, bullies, and trolls, that I’m actually taking shits. Sigmund Freud was a genius, and even though he might have been a complete nutcase, part of why we don’t brush him off completely is because we don’t have any evidence to prove that he’s wrong, and he has given many significant contributions to psychology. Why do I bring him up? Because he knew as a child he was destined for greatness. He knew he was going to do something amazing. I, in the same way however not with the unscientific aspect of Freud know that I will do something great, and my peers, the bullies, and trolls can go unionize a completely non-differentiable object with their largest toroidal hole.
Because I WILL DO SCIEEEEENCE! SCIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEENCE! YEEEAH SCIENCE!
Without further adieu, here’s the poem. It’s in iambic meter, parts of it similar to Annabel Lee in meter (read like such to read read this smoothly):
It’s time for me to leave and go to bed,
though I am filled with thoughts of endless dread.
What can I do?
Why should it be?
Oh why hath depression struck me?
It’s simply not fair!
It’s utter despair!
That I of all people should
feel the oppression that
tears me apart by the
hands of depression,
but if it’s any concession,
I refuse to give up,
because I know that this is not me.
At once the math girl becomes a poet,
for her equations cannot express the
apprehension and tension that
leaves her a state of unrest.
Alas, her heart still belongs to her love,
without it she’s driven to wrath.
Through all the
depression, oppression, and tension,
her guidelight will always be math.
Holding tight to this guidelight,
perhaps it will lead me the way.
Right out of this mess
that is causing this stress,
and put an end to this dismay.
They say that true love will
show you the path,
and for me I can say that
my true love is math,
undoing this mess
I did, I confess,
to bring me back on
the path to success.
So I submitted my application to Caltech. This time, I actually managed to get pretty much everything in on time (unlike how everything was late and last minute for MIT). And because I spent a fair bit of time writing the answers to the questions (instead of it being last minute for MIT because I’d decided to scratch everything and redo everything for MIT), and because I actually included a sort of portfolio this time, I think I have a much better shot this time. Also, because at Caltech, females are a minority (I mean, only a third of the students are female), I have a fighting chance. Caltech also seems to be a better place for me, as even though the dorms don’t allow cats, it’s the number one college for cosmology. That and if I get in, I can prank the hell out of MIT. 😛 On a random note, I only realized about two hours before I submitted the application that Caltech is spelled with a lowercase t.
I’ve been trying to track Comet Lovejoy, but Florida decided not to participate in Winter, and introduced to us 80+ high humidity weather, with lots of clouds. I got to see Comet Lovejoy on two nights (the disparity between the location of the dot across both nights confirmed that it was Comet Lovejoy).
I’m going to try to view the Quadrantids tonight, but with what weather we’ve been having, I doubt I’ll get to see any. And because school starts again tomorrow, I can’t stay up too late. Still, I want to catch at least one Quadrantid meteor.
And I’m not sure why, but somehow I got 41 followers in 2 months. I suppose half of them are spam follows, but the other half… when I check the profiles, the stuff they post is at least somewhat relevant to the stuff I post, so I suppose there’s a “related profiles” feature somewhere here.